Lately 2 of the Frankenkitties have taken to lunch, dine and sup at the House of chaos. Both Frankinneke and Frankeminneke tend to be a tad skittish, but respond to our pettings well, with quite thunderous purrs. Yet the feline denizens of the House are not allowed to approach them.
There is an interesting distinction to be made between feral and house cats. I can see it most clearly when I observe Frankinneke, the more adventurous of the twain, exploring the House of Chaos: Hrimnir will try to stalk her, it’s play of course, but he can’t grasp the sad fact that Frankinneke does not play at all. She regards his play-stalking as a nuisance at best, or rather imminent danger to her lithe and lean petite self. She responds with threat and violence. And that leaves Hrimmikins confused because he knows not better than other felines being purrfect playmates.
Ferals don’t have time for play. They don’t have leisure for mock-fights. For them everyday life is a constant and repeated struggle for survival. They eat, but don’t enjoy the food because they must work hard to get it and will not always get it at all. They love to be petted, but remain ever vigilant throughout because you never know when you will be attacked and rest assured that your enemies will attach you when you are at your most vulnerable – like when you let your guard down in order to fully absorb that most sensuous of sensations which is being petted. The ferals never bask completely oblivious to the world in the sun like the house cats do, even though they would enjoy the warm life-giving rays as well. They will, curled up on some strategic spot or in a safe haven, yet must need remain ever watchful. It’s a huge difference in quality of life. They don’t play, they are serious, because play consumes energy and energy is too scarce to waste like that and must be reserved for the serious business of hunting-for-food and fending-off-the-others. There is not time nor leasure for joy. There is only need.
Our house cats have the luxury of being able to remain big kittens: they can sleep safely, eat safely, play safely. The only need they know is when their feeding bowls are empty and they wonder what is going wrong with the simians. They know not want, because everything is in a paw’s reach: a warm soft place to sleep on, a simian hand to groom or pet you, a toy to play with, food to eat at leisure. One indignant meow, and a simian rushes in to do your bidding. One imperious paw on leg or arm, and your wish is granted. No enemies. No fear.
But Frankinneke finds a kind of solace in the House of Chaos she won’t find outside in the danger-filled and hungry world. For this tiny-built feral our beloved House is a safe haven filled with undreamed-of wonders. And one of these wonders is… the mousy-go-round.
It’s some kind of toy, in which a toy mouse is attached to a stick that rotates around a central axle. Tap the mouse and it goes round and round. Tap it hard and it goes whirrrr. To Frankinneke the feral it’s a wondrous toy with the added bonus that it doesn’t bite and stays in one place – more or less. She’s fascinated by the ever-running-round mouse and tries to catch it again and again. Tries to by smarter by forecasting its moves and leaping in front of it. Tries her very best to gnaw at what she can through the slits of the toy. And all the time she forgets to be on her guard and forgets that others could be stalking about and attack her.
Which -strangely- they don’t. They leave her alone. It is as if they know there exists a personal no-play zone around this kitty and they respect it.
But when she lies curled up and snoring blissfully on top of the pile of dirty laundry in the Veranda of Chaos, a curious feline denizen might approach her and take a tentative and cautious sniff. By now our feral kitty has learned not to wake up in full furious wrath, but to first slowly open her lovely eyes, and subsequently open wide her porcelain collection repository for a perfect execution of that good old wide yawn that broadcasts to the world that here lies a kitty content and lazy. The feline denizen will withdraw a pace or two, but remain fixed in abject fascination at such a marvellous display of yawncatship. Frankinneke has mastered the art of studied indifference, that many a feral needs in order to avoid life-threatening battles.
It’s hard to imagine that this little fluff-ball of purring kitty can at the same time be an imminent explosion of full-out ferocity, a meat-grinder of some notoriety, the lady other cats -even tomcats- give wide berth to. When you’re tiny you’d better be ruthless.
That cute she-kitty ?
Frankinneke playing with the mousy-go-round…
Oh yes, and notice the kitten ? The latest addition to the Feline Company of the House of Chaos, his will be the next tale here. His name is Frankendrolleke and he is possibly the son of either Frankinneke or Frankeminneke – we’re not sure. What we are sure of, however, is that he’s one persistent little stubborn bugger !
It’s been a long time, but we’re back. And thus we visit again the Carnival of the Cats (hosted by Nikita’s Place) , Weekend Cat Blogging (hosted by Digicats) and the Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos (hosted on Dec 6 by Kashim & Othello and Salome). Also, do not forget to visit the Cat Blogosphere if you want to hop in with your friends !